If you suspect you are sensitive to caffeine and want to reduce your coffee consumption, hot chocolate is an excellent option for you! Read on for 5 reasons why you should replace your coffee with hot chocolate.
1. A calmer nervous system. Coffee is a caffeine rich stimulant which commonly causes anxiety and is jarring to the nervous system. Hot chocolate caffeine levels are very minimal in comparison to coffee. For example a 250ml hot chocolate contains approx 5mg of caffeine, compared to a flat white which contains approx 77mg. This level of caffeine is very unlikely to have any detrimental or anxiety producing effects. Cutting the coffee and replacing with cacao rich beverages instead will help to encourage a calmer nervous system. Bring on the zen!
2. Hot chocolate increases dopamine levels. Good quality hot chocolate made with cacao contains tyramine (derived from an amino acid known as tyrosine) which is converted into dopamine in the body. Dopamine is a feel good neurotransmitter associated with reward. Coffee contains tyramine also, but if you swap it out for a hot chocolate you still get your feel good fix, minus the caffeine!
3. Good quality hot chocolate also contains tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin (a neurotransmitter which regulates mood and contributes to wellbeing.) Coffee is found to deplete serotonin.
4. Cacao contains a substance called Theobromine which provides a gentle lift in energy. It is very mildly stimulating, but not in the same way as caffeine as it won't leave you feeling jittery and anxious.
5. Good quality hot chocolate with a high percentage of cacao is high in magnesium, a mineral which is vital for a healthy nervous system, relieving physical and mental tension, and improves energy production. Coffee and caffeine deplete magnesium stores, taxing the nervous system.
So the moral of the story is that hot chocolate always wins! Swap your coffee out for a hot choc, you won't regret it.